What I love about Hong Kong
Happy Birthday Herd for Paper Players #688

What I loved about Vietnam

Happy Friday and greetings from just off the coast of Nova Scotia.

Well, it's another foggy day here but the air is crisp and clean and there is a cool breeze.  I just love this part of the world, but it seems that every time we sail past here, we don't see anything but fog.  However, that doesn't put me off!

My post today is about a place that is almost 8,500 miles from Nova Scotia.  Vietnam.  Before I start saying anything about the trip I have to say that Vietnam was an amazing revelation.  It was everything I thought it wouldn't be.  My favorite stop was Nha Trang and I absolutely loved it.

The map below shows the position of Nha Trang on the Southern East coast of Vietnam - right next to the black star

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Right off the bat I was amazed by it.  Here's a pano shot from my balcony when we arrived:

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Nha Trang is on the right and there is an island called Hon Tre on the left.  Access to the island is via the Vinpearl Cable Car system and it was a ride I would loved to have done.  It has birds eye views of what is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world.  It holds the official Guinness World Record for being the longest sea-crossing cable car route worldwide and it's impressive length of 2,643 meters and average height of 54 meters make it the longest sea-crossing cable car route globally.  Absolutely magnificent.  So, already we were off to a good start.

A few facts about Nha Trang:

  • The beaches are gorgeous and there is a long boardwalk full of restaurants and sitting areas along the edge of the bay and it is absolutely beautiful. 
  • The Hon Mun marine protected area is one of four first marine protected areas in the world admitted by the IUCN.  It has since become a mecca for divers from around the world.
  • It also has a very surprising connection to research on bubonic plague!  The French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin, discoverer of the Yersinia pestis bacterium lived in Nha Trang for 50 years and was affectionately known as Ông Năm. He established the Indochinese Pasteur Institute (now known as the Pasteur Institute of Nha Trang), devoted to researching the bubonic plague.
  • Nha Trang is known among divers and tourists as a great spot for interacting with those gentle giants of the sea - Whale Sharks
  • From ancient villages to imposing Buddah statues, incredible underwater sea-life, phenomenal beaches, cycling tours, encounters with rare monkeys, impressive seafood and wonderful nature reserves - this area really does have it all.

The first thing to strike me about Nha Trang as we drove around on our tour.... absolutely immaculately clean.  I saw rubbish nowhere.  Not even in remote areas and back roads - it was absolutely pristine.  They also have these amazing floral arrangements in parts of the road that were beautifully maintained.

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I saw this amazing lotus flower metal statue along the main road and loved it:

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I loved this 3 storey cafe with street parking for motorbikes - which are the mode of transport of choice!

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And this photo is for Lou.  There were entire shops dedicated to the Durian fruit.  Oh man... I HATE and I mean HATE the smell of it.  It's so intense, and so foul, that it is banned in buses, trains and cabs in Singapore.  This little shop seemed to carry other fruits - but Durian was the star.  And as much as I hate it - Lou loves it!   So.... go figure!

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But what is Durian?  It's a surprisingly expensive fruit as the trees take a long time to mature.  For those who can stomach the incredible stench of it, it is said to have many health benefits. In one test-tube study, durian extract prevented a strain of breast cancer cells from spreading. Prevents heart disease. Several compounds in durian may help reduce cholesterol levels and your risk of atherosclerosis, or the hardening of your arteries.

Here's a photo of the fruit.  It's spikey outside gives way to a smooth and, apparently, very tasty (!!!!) inside:

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According to those in the know, fresh, ripe durians have an incredibly delicious and sweet flavor. It's often described as custardy, and its flavor is compared to caramel, vanilla, and even cheesecake. The texture is soft and somewhat pillowy.    That's if you can get past the smell, which is described as a combination of sulfur, sewage, fruit, honey, and roasted and rotting onions.  Yeah... NO!!!

It's a very modern city with many, many, many hi-rise buildings, but still has immense charm.

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Some of that charm comes from the very narrow buildings... not just the Durian shops, either!

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These narrow buildings have become a defining style of Vietnamese architecture and can be seen in most of the major cities.

Clean streets, lots of trees, stunning white soft sand and crystal clear water... what else could you want for a nice stroll!

Screenshot 2024-05-03 at 1.07.57 PM

I opted not to do the Ho Chi Minh city tours and stayed on board instead.  But I will always have very fond memories of Nha Trang.  It was an incredible surprise to me.  It was far more pristine and characterful than I had ever anticipated.  The natural beauty surrounding  - both green mountains and blue seas- was gorgeous.  I wish we had spent more time there as there were many things I would like to have done.

I will leave you with one last aerial photo that I borrowed - as it shows a view that I could not capture.

Screenshot 2024-05-03 at 1.11.23 PM

I'll be back tomorrow with my views of Singapore.  In the meantime, warm hugs and prayers for those of you who need a little lift tonight.




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I am enjoying all your travel pictures and readings of your trip. Thank you for sharing with us.

Bethlehem PA

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